Trains keep running through new terminal in Dosyk, Kazakhstan

Photo: Daniel Barcelona

It is now more than two months since a new terminal at Dostyk was opened on the Chinese-Kazakh border. According to the operator, it is already handling three trains per day on average, and this is growing, thanks to the booming volumes of rail freight traffic between China and Europe.

Since 4 June, when the new terminal was opened in Kazakhstan, over 11 thousand containers were received, processed and dispatched. This adds up to more than 200 international trains consisting of 11,000 large-tonnage containers. What is now an average of 3 trains per day, can soon be expanded to 6 trains per day, and 12 per day in 2022, says the optimistic operator PTC Cargo.

“We receive orders from two large logistics centers in China and one in Europe. Cargo to EU countries is a priority for China. Therefore, the responsibility is great. We must ensure uninterrupted reception of goods, rational use of the terminal and the availability of all services for customers, ”said Shyngys Tuleushin, CEO of PTC Cargo.

Extra terminal was needed

To be precise, the near terminal was launched six kilometres west of the existing Dostyk terminal and very close to the Dostyk-Alashankou border crossing. A second terminal was needed, as cargo traffic via this border point is at an alltime high and capacity is limited. For a while now, there have been reports of congestion at the popular border crossing.

Once complete, the new terminal will provide additional capacity of 700,000 TEUs on the busy route. This means that the transit potential of Kazakhstan will only increase, which is one of the goals of the operator. “Increasing the transit potential of Kazakhstan is one of the country’s strategic objectives, and we are doing everything possible to realise it as much as possible”, said Tuleushin.

Kazakhstan and the pandemic

Despite the pandemic, the volume of transit container traffic in Kazakhstan is growing. At the end of last year, it had surged by 65 per cent, amounting to 517.5 thousand containers. However, that is not to say that there are no challenges. There have been additional measures to prevent a new corona outbreak. More recently, three new infections were reported in the Chinese border terminal of Alashankou.

So far, this has not led to any closures, as most of the trains are reloaded on the Kazakh side. But, according to Tuleushin, difficulties remain on both sides. “In the PRC, additional quarantine measures have been introduced in relation to the inspection of goods. Due to the pandemic, there are disruptions in the reception and dispatch of trains in a number of EU countries.”

Also read:

Enthusiasm for new terminal on New Silk Road

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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